State News

Orange County Rescue Squad ordered off 911 system

Posted July 16, 2008 4:02 a.m. EDT
Updated July 16, 2008 8:31 a.m. EDT

— The Orange County Rescue Squad has been removed from the local 911 system after a number of complaints from the county's new emergency services director.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that on June 27, director Frank Montes de Oca Jr. ordered the private, volunteer rescue squad removed, citing safety concerns. He said emergency services supervisors should order squad members to leave if they showed up at accident scenes.

The squad serves the northern part of the county from a station in Hillsborough.

In a preliminary report dated July 1, Montes de Oca outlined a history of unsafe and unprofessional practices. In June, he said the squad's Rescue 1 truck spilled its equipment in responding to an accident on Interstate 40.

Rescue Squad Chief Brian Matthews said he never got to respond to the allegations before the order to stand down. He called many of the accusations baseless.

A second volunteer unit in the county, the South Orange Rescue Squad based in Carrboro, is not involved in the dispute.

Both squads have long also helped provide ambulance services in the county along with the county Emergency Medical Services division.